Check this collection out (we’re swamped).
The Kingdom on the Waves (Volume II of The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, 561 pages), by M.T. Anderson. Get your thinking caps on, volume two is here (volume one being The Pox Party). This scary-looking tome – an account of the American Revolution from the point of view of a young slave in Boston – is getting absolutely mad rave reviews everywhere. You should read it if you’re interested in history.
First sentence: The rain poured from the heavens as we fled across the mud-flats, that scene of desolation; it soaked through our clothes and bit at the skin with its chill.
Two Parties, One Tux, and a Very Short Film About The Grapes of Wrath, by Steven Goldman (307 pages). Mitchell, a “geek” tries to navigate high school, his complicated friendship with his best friend David, finding himself with not one but two prom dates… a funny book with a “colourful cast of characters”.
First sentence: We are standing at a party, a still, quiet eddy in the swirl of motion and noise.
Strangled Silence, by Oisin McGann (436 pages). Oisin McGann (who is a man, by the way) has written what appears to be a conspiracy-theory/cover up/suspense/thriller story with just a hint of horror. It should be full of action and tension.
First sentence: Ivor McMorris was on his way to buy some milk when his blind eye started hurting him again.
The Disappeared, by Gloria Whelan (136 pages). A story set in 1970s Argentina during a time of civil unrest (known as The Dirty War), when many people were taken from their homes to secret prisons, often never to return. These people were known as The Disappeared. Incidentally, the association called The Mothers of the Disappeared was the inspiration for songs written by U2 (‘Mothers of the Disappeared’ from The Joshua Tree) and Sting (‘They Dance Alone’).
First sentence: Eduardo, it happened hours ago but I relive it again and again.
Zombie Blondes, by Brian James (232 pages). The girl on the cover has disturbingly large eyes (courtesy of artist Sas Christian). Blonde zombie cheerleaders are the most popular girls in the school that Hannah Sanders finds herself attending. It seems to be a cross between The Stepford Wives and Twilight (the concept of new girl in school coming across the undead, you understand). Worth a look.
First sentence: There aren’t any rules to running away from your problems.
Playing with Matches, by Brian Katcher (294 pages). Trivial fact: Brian Katcher is a school librarian. The book’s about Leon Sanders, who forges a relationship with Melody, the class outcast (due to being burned in a childhood accident) only to be asked out by Amy, the class hottie. What to do? Leon tries to sort out his problem without hurting anyone, but is this possible? The title suggests it’s a dangerous game.
First sentence: “So I was reading this Vonnegut novel,” I said to Samantha.
Argenta, by Stephanie Hills (New Zealand author, 253 pages). A science fiction adventure story, the title refers to a planet where the Clan of the birdpeople is facing extinction. Anquin ends up enlisting the help of Martin, an average Earth boy, in the rather enormous task of saving the Clan and stopping an invasion of Earth.
First sentence: Anquin glided through the cold air, wings outstretched.
The Devouring, by Simon Holt (231 pages). “Your body is here, but not your soul…” says the cover. Yoicks! The Vours are “evil, demonic beings that inhabit human bodies on Sorry Night, the darkest hours of the winter solstice.” (Book cover)
First sentence: On Sorry Night, just a few days before Christmas, you have to snuff the lamps, douse the flames in the fireplace, and spend the night in the cold and dark.
One or two others in brief:
Dead is the New Black, by Marlene Perez. Murder mystery involving vampires.
Saltwater Moons, by Julie Gittus. Love and learning about life.
I Heart You, You Haunt Me, by Lisa Schroeder. Love between the living and the dead. Written in verse.
That’s enough for now (there’s more).